Christopher Nicholaus Ford, 37, passed away in Chicago, Illinois on Monday, August 23, 2021. A visitation for Chris will take place at Peterson Funeral Home in Indianola, Iowa on Saturday, September 4, 2021 starting at 12:30pm CT. A celebration of Chris's life will follow at 2pm CT. Interment will take place after the celebration at I.O.O.F Cemetery in Indianola. Out of respect for Chris's lifelong commitment to health and his family's wishes, masks will be required indoors at all times regardless of vaccination status.\r\n\r\nChris was born September 18, 1983 in Des Moines, Iowa to Stephen Ford and Tania Socarras. He was an academic, earned a PhD, loved animals (including his cat, Moxie), excelled at yoga and fitness (powerlifting, bodybuilding, running, and Jiu Jitsu), founded a business (Ford Foundational Fitness), and certified as a personal trainer. He was loving, supportive, always ready with a smile and thoughtful reply, driven, incredibly bright, and a talented writer. Above all, Chris was a son, a brother, and a friend.\r\n\r\nChris accomplished much in his short life. Having struggled with a severe eating disorder and post-traumatic stress as a preteen and into adulthood, he dedicated his life to exercise, nutrition, and helping others. He graduated from the University of Iowa with two bachelor's degrees in Health & Sports Studies and Spanish, and later, a master's degree in Public Health. He achieved a lifelong goal in 2015, earning a PhD in Nutrition Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a personal trainer and chef, he supported countless people with their exercise and nutrition programs. As an academic, he completed two prestigious postdocs and published impactful research on childhood dietary trends and diabetes. As an Assistant Professor, his latest research focused on using yoga to improve cognition in survivors of stroke. In mid-August, he had a paper accepted by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Neurology.\r\n\r\nLife was not easy for Chris. But he was a fighter. Very few who knew Chris later in life appreciated what he'd had to overcome. The last few years were especially hard for Chris. Yet through it all he remained committed to and protective of his family and closest friends. After all he had survived and all he had accomplished, he struggled to come to grips with a complex and difficult illness. Many would have given up early on, but he continued to help others, volunteer, and pursue research at the highest levels for several years. Chris lost his fight on August 23, 2021.\r\n\r\nChris loved animals and was a regular volunteer at animal shelters. The family requests that any memorials be made to The Atlanta Humane Society. https://atlantahumane.org/\r\n\r\nThe world has lost a special person who spent his life making other people's lives better. Chris is survived by his parents, brother, Matthew (Monica) Ford, and sister, Meredith Brown.